Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Top Ten Things I Learned in My 20's

10. I love working in the non-profit sector, regardless of the not so great pay.
9. If I can survive a lay-off and being jobless as a brand new home owner for 4 months, I can survive almost anything.
8. I need to take better care of myself. "Burning the candle at both ends" just doesn't fly anymore.
7. Love is messy.
6. Love is confusing.
5. Girlfriends truly do become like family and you'll need them more than you'd ever imagine.
4. I can survive outside of my comfort zone, with absolute strangers, in a 3rd world country, when it means that I will able to help someone in need.
3. I am going back to that third world country in the next decade as well.
2. The older I get, the more I grow and learn. The more I grow and learn, the more I like myself. The more I like myself, the more I am able to truly like and appreciate others.
1. Leaving my 20's behind isn't as scary as I thought. It's actually kind of refreshing.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Good "awe" versus bad "awe"

Today, yet again, I've found myself awestruck. Not the awestruck you feel when someone tells you they're expecting their first child or when you witness a breathe-taking sunset. No, it's more the awe you feel when someone does something so unbelievably horrible and unjust that you are left without words. Awe that when continuously bombarded with it, makes you sick to your stomach.

I knew I was going into my 2009 fasting season with some prayer requests, but the growing "awe" that surrounds me only reiterates my need for guidance, direction, and peace.

Here's to hoping tomorrow is Awesome. Not Awe-ful.

21 Days of fasting...Here We Go!

The fast will begin (for me) tonight at sundown. Our church has begun a voluntary fast for 21 days, along with 250 other churches across the country, and although I know that this will be a huge undertaking for me, I want to be on board as much as possible!

Fasting is something I’ve done in the past, especially as a Catholic during Lent, but I’ve never fasted more than one thing at a time. I’ve done chocolate, TV and movies, caffeine, etc...and as a child I’d always try to give up peas or homework, until my mom explained to me that giving up something you already despise doesn’t count as a “sacrifice”.

Before embarking on this 21 day journey through hunger pains and caffeine withdrawal, it’s important for me to determine what it is I am actually fasting for. Along with my church, I will fast for 3 reasons:

1. Direction for Seacoast in 2009. Where are we headed and what do we feel the Lord is calling us towards as we kick off a new year.
2. That Seacoast will be able to sell the plot of land along 526 that’s been sitting, unused for a couple of years.
3. For our Country! I will fast and pray for wisdom for our leaders, safety for our men and women fighting for our freedom, peace both on our soil and foreign soil, and for our economy and those who have lost jobs, homes, and hope in 08/09.

For myself, I will fast for my own reasons that I will keep more personal, but they will encompass personal direction, purpose, and the well-being of my family.

Although most people will try and stick strictly to The Daniel Fast (please Google for details), I am going to follow Daniel as closely as I personally can without jeopardizing my health as I see fit.

Over the next 21 days, I will abide from the following diet guidelines (with the exception of Sundays, which are considered days of rest, even from fasting):
• All fruits, vegetables, and legumes are acceptable (and natural peanut butter)
• Fish is acceptable (for me, at least, due to already existing Anemia)
Whole grain pasta, rice, and bread (I found one site that allows whole wheat bread)
• Water and milk only (I added milk for dietary reasons)
• No sugars (artificial included), No sweets, No fried foods, No cheese(Lord,help me!), No salad dressings with the exception of oil and vinegar
• No CAFFEINE!! (please see small prayer one line above)
• Zero snack foods that do not fall into the first line (i.e. it must be a fruit, veggie or legume)

With it all down on paper, and this blog as my source of accountability, let the hunger pains begin! And when the pains begin, let me remember to say a prayer for the above listed items instead of turning to food to quench that hunger. I pray that I will closer to the Lord over the next 21 days and further from the things that I usually allow to fill me.

I’ll be praying for you all over the next 21 days!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Marley and Me and Kleenex

This past weekend I went to see Marley and Me in search of a romantic comedy and something to warm the heart. Notice that I said warm the heart, not crush the heart. What a tear jerker! As we were leaving the theater, my boyfriend suggested that I might want to go clean my face up a bit in the ladies room, if that gives you any insight into my 4 legged and fur induced agony.

All tears aside, Marley and Me is simply amazing! Although the movie is about an unruly, uncontrollably crazy dog, the story line takes you through 15 years of a married couple's life (insert the adorable Jennifer and Owen). The marriage roller coaster is en route and you find yourself up with them when they celebrate a family victory and your heart breaks for them when they hit rough patches, which all marriages do. It tells a true story about how love and commitment isn't always as the big screens show and that sticking with something you believe in can sometimes be one of the hardest decisions even though it should be simple and clear-cut.

By the end of the movie, I felt like I was part of their family and when the credits began to roll, I was still. I didn't want to leave and face everyone who had listened to me sob for the past 2 hours and yet I couldn't wait to get home and hug my little Wrigley.

Thank God for dogs! Marley and Me allowed me to love my dog even more than I already did, which I didn't think possible. It reminded me that dogs, although frustrating at times, come into our lives and bless us with their constant love and affection. Wrigley could care less if my hair is a mess, if my clothes don't match, or if I am not the wealthiest girl in Charleston. He wakes up with me every morning with a cuddle session and is the most excited thing when I arrive home, even after a 15 minute trip to the grocery store. I've never known a more faithful companion and I thank Marley and Me for capturing that feeling for it's viewers and for capturing my heart along the way.